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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My desert island discs
This is a 12-CD box set of Mozart's complete piano concertos, played and directed by Perahia, repackaged this year. I already had several CDs of "late" concertos played by the pianist, but I'm glad I now have these re-mastered complete versions.

Perahia plays with unforced freshness and naturalness. All the notes flow beautifully, with little exaggeration or...
Published 23 months ago by Mhr

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great piano playing that tends towards monotony in the interpretations
My experience is that one should be very discriminate in the purchasing of "complete" works of any composer by any pianist. This
sums up my evaluation of this "intégrale". Very fine recordings to have but for some concerti I still like to go back to Lily Kraus and others. This of course has much to do with "how" one likes one's Mozart.
Published 2 months ago by J J BEAUVOIS


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My desert island discs, 24 July 2012
By 
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This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
This is a 12-CD box set of Mozart's complete piano concertos, played and directed by Perahia, repackaged this year. I already had several CDs of "late" concertos played by the pianist, but I'm glad I now have these re-mastered complete versions.

Perahia plays with unforced freshness and naturalness. All the notes flow beautifully, with little exaggeration or self-consciousness. He sometimes plays slow movements rather delicately - for instance, in Nos. 24 and 27; I think his style suits Mozart's composition, although some listeners may prefer to listen to them being played a little more extrovertly. The earlier works (Nos. 1 to 14) - which I had never listened to before - are charming. Later works - particularly Nos. 21 and 23 - are most beautifully performed.

Concerto No. 7 for 3 Pianos (K.242) is played in an arranged version for 2 pianos, apparently done by the composer himself. In both No. 7 and No. 10 (K.365 for 2 pianos), Perahia is joined by Radu Lupu.

I have always enjoyed listening to recordings by Geza Anda, Ashkenazy, Brendel (earlier ones), and Uchida, among others. But, I find Perahia's recordings outstanding: they will be among my "desert island discs" as for one of the earlier reviewers.

The recordings were made in both analogue and digital formats. The re-mastered sound is very good. This complete set - despite the unusual version of No. 7 (see above) - offers a fantastic value for money, costing only about 1.60 for each disc. There is no booklet included, but no-one will require it when music speaks for itself.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful musical bargain in every way, 1 Feb 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
This set of discs has been in my collection ever since they were originally issued and have established themselves as my performances of choice even in the light of other fine recordings by Uchida, Imogen Cooper and several other fine pianists.

They have always seemed to me to offer perfectly attuned readings in terms of period, balance between piano and orchestra, pacing, dynamics and numerous other similar details. There is not one performance that disappoints as far as performances is concerned.

However, the recordings were made some time ago and they did not all offer the same level of recorded excellence with some discs being clearly somewhat thin on string tone. Generally I do not buy re-mastered discs on the basis of sheer cost in terms of a complete collection but I have nevertheless bought a number of re-mastered discs from Sony and they have all been worth the investment.

In this case, the coupling of masterful performances, some thin-toned original discs and the remarkably low price being asked for these wonderful performances was a temptation I could not resist. I am delighted to report that in every case the re-mastering has been a total success with much improved tonal range throughout and a marked improvement in the string tone in the worst original cases. The set now has a unity of recorded sound that was not true of the original discs.

This is a case of the very best becoming even better as a result of advances in re-mastering and at a remarkably low price. The sleeve notes, which were never very impressive, have now disappeared altogether but I personally have solved this minor issue by keeping the original sleeves inside the new, fairly spacious box. Information about these concertos is readily available on the web for those who wish to know more. What we have here is a concentration purely on the recordings and they are outstandingly successful.

I would suggest that, given the excellence of the performances and recordings of these concertos and especially at the current asking price, this set warrants the most serious consideration from future purchasers either as an 'only' purchase or as part of a bigger collection of multiple versions.

............................................

Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)

I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
Keep up the good work!
Thank you (UK review)

............................................
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful set, 13 Mar 2009
By 
Mark (sheffield) - See all my reviews
This is the most woderful set of Mozart Piano Concertos-especially in the newly remastered version which gives much improved sound quality.Murray Perahia and the ECO are ideally suited to these sublime, sensitive works.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refined and breathtaking, 25 Mar 2009
By 
Marcolorenzo (Italy) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
All of Mozart's piano concertos are masterpieces with the one exception of Number 7 for three pianos, included in this set in a Mozart transcription for 2 pianos and played here by Perahia and Radu Lupu. Perahia's playing is silken and creamy with great finesse of detail and delicate articulation, which well captures the almost infinite variety of emotions contained in these works. The only reservation I have is that while Peraiha plays beautifully at times the beauty of the playing is so refined and controlled that there seems as if a thin veil is hanging over the sound creating a withdrawn or hushed tone. He seems to hold back in a reserved and conservative way when he should be letting go more spontaneously and brilliantly. It is here at these moments that a Mitsuko Uchida or a Goode interpretation would break open with a fuller more illuminating brilliance. The relationship between the ECO orchestra and the soloist is peerless. There is not only a true dialogue but also a real symbiosis of feeling and interconnection which is sublime. Sometimes it even seems that the star is the orchestra in these performances. It is no wonder that Uchida also recorded all the piano concertos with the ECO. The re-mastered sound is fabulous as other reviewers have already noted.
The other choice for a complete set of these works(with the exception of no. 1-4,10(for 2 pianos),and no.7 ( for 3 pianos))is the Uchida set on Philips which is at times less mature in technique and feeling in the later works but sublime and full of imagination for example in Concerto number 9 the "Jeunehomme" concerto. I personnaly think you need both sets to get inside the enormous emotional posibilities of these pieces. Mozart - The Piano Concertos /MITSUKO UCHIDA Mozart: Piano Concertos Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 18 & 20 Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 23 & 24
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second to Uchida, 26 Dec 2013
This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
Perahia was not fortunate enough to have the best recorded sound at his disposal. His recordings, being very good, cannot compare to Uchida flying on the wings of Philips.
It matters, because Uchida's velvety tone was duly registered, as was her left hand, as were the strings' and wind's gorgeous colours of the ECO. Uchida's recordings have matured extremely well and can be listened to today, 25 years after the takes, without any need of remastering, contrary to Perahia's, where even the 24-bit work has been unable to lift up the sound much.

Perahia sounds forceful and even percussive, his left hand barely audible at times. Banging all the way, it's difficult to find a pianissimo in his accounts. I believe that, being a first-rate pianist, he simply was let down by the recording engineers. Sony hasn't been a first-rate recording outfit since the 50s,those glorious days of her predecessors, CBS and RCA.

Uchida's first editions are still on the used market at outrageous prices. Grab them, and enjoy the riveting Philips sound that does such a favour to Mozart's masterpieces.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great piano playing that tends towards monotony in the interpretations, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
My experience is that one should be very discriminate in the purchasing of "complete" works of any composer by any pianist. This
sums up my evaluation of this "intégrale". Very fine recordings to have but for some concerti I still like to go back to Lily Kraus and others. This of course has much to do with "how" one likes one's Mozart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous mozart!, 30 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
Most of the world agrees that the opus of Mozart's piano concertos represent the developing genius of one of the musical angels on this planet. Not everyone knows of the incomparable playing of Murray Perahia. So here's your chance to hear a peerless performance by an artist who delivers an almost transparent interpretation. What you hear is the unadulterated voice of Mozart. Of course there are other more astonishing renditions, but I know of no complete set of recordings that is so consistently wonderful. Needless to say, the recording technology does the performance justice.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great bargain, 26 May 2012
By 
Fatmusketeer "Fatmusketeer" (Warwick, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
The Perahia set of Mozart piano concertos is my modern instrument 'desert island' version. The playing is graceful, insightful and in a word Mozartian. And what a bargain! There are twelve CDs in the set, which means each one costs less than 2. There are no notes supplied, but I think the music making speaks for itself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
Wonderful playing
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
Wonderful set, great bargain.
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Mozart: The Piano Concertos by Murray Perahia (Audio CD - 2012)
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